he leans in to greet me
a peck on the cheek
a peck on the cheek
becomes a forceful thrust into me
he pins me to the wall
my hands above my head
his serpent tongue slithering inside of my mouth
i die a thousand deaths,
his wet mouth slobbers all over my neck and face
as he presses up against me
he smells my hair
quickly fixes his pants
and washes his hands before sitting for dinner.
i was 18.
he was in his 50’s.
he was my host father in costa rica.
i went to costa rica to learn spanish. as a honduran adoptee i wanted to be close to my motherland, but i wasn’t ready to visit yet. i wanted to learn spanish. i wanted to be immersed in a latin american experience. i grew up in Maine and probably saw 3 hispanic people in my entire life. at 18, i didn’t know how to even process what had happened. he would continue to do this as a greeting until i built up the courage to ask to be transferred to a new family. the first time i asked to be transferred was to be closer to a city and the girl i had a crush on. they were hesitant to approve this transfer. a week or so later i went to a beach with the girl i had a crush on. in an attempt to ‘impress her’, i bought weed from a random stranger. i pretended to smoke it and she really did smoke it. later that month, we had a big meet up in San Jose. i was excited to see friends i had met at orientation, i was excited to not have to be at my host family’s home. i brought the weed that i had gotten a few weeks prior. i knew it was stupid - i knew i would get caught. i wanted to. i made it known that i bought it and gave the remaining weed to another exchange student. when she returned to her city and host family, she got caught with it at school. and i was the first person she named to the Costa Rican police.
i was so happy.
i got kicked out.
i was free.
about 8 years later i emailed the intercultural exchange organization and told them what happened. they said thanks for sharing my story and he hasn’t been hosting families in quite some time. i hadn’t told anyone that whole time.
medina is a honduran non-binary trans human. medina graduated from emerson college with a b.a. in communication studies and now lives in nyc. @medinawrites